I though I’d start the new year with an unusual, for me at least, positive message. The message: we’ve never had it so good technology-wise and often we forget that.

I started thinking about this when I realised what I was doing with my computer. Right now, for example, I am typing this into Emacs. In the back-ground I am scanning in some film and burning the previous scans onto CD. Only a few years ago any one of these activities would have been more than enough for a simple home computer. A joke at the time was that Emacs stood for “eight megabytes and continually swapping,” and now my iPod has thirty-two megs of memory as a convenience, basically to avoid letting the battery run down too quickly.

Even better, for the sake of clarity I’ve missed out the programs that I’m not actively using. Mail and Adium are happily keeping a look-out for new messages, iTunes is bashing out some good music. iCal is ready to tell me that I was supposed to be meeting a friend an hour ago, I left the Address Book open last time I looked up a phone number, I can’t even remember what I was editing in Word but that’s open too and Safari is primed, just in case.

But even that is a simplification. The disc image that’s being burned is on a different computer, they’re connected wirelessly and using a protocol that’s native to neither (Mac to Linux using SMB).

I don’t mention any of this to brag, or suggest that I’m doing anything odd or unusual here, quite the contrary. I just mean to point out that these are complex but every day activities that we expect not only to work, but to work seamlessly at the same time as lots of other stuff. And that, frankly, is absolutely amazing.